Business Attraction Marketing
Our focus has always been quality over volume. Blane, Canada takes fewer, more compelling assignments by design.
Blane, Canada is a management advisory firm. We focus on specific operating areas within economic development. We work with senior managers on problems they are unable to answer or too busy to properly address. Our assignments can include strategy, structure, management and/or operations.
Economic development consultants are like the punchline to the old joke on the value of experience: In the first panel, the consultant boasts of 12 years of experience. In panel 2, the thought bubble over the executive’s head… 1 year of experience 12 times. Our professional contributions timeline clearly shows the Blane|Canada difference.
What’s the Blane, Canada difference?
- Independent research. Our 20-year commitment to independent research projects and published results contributed to the profession.
- Results-oriented. We do not solve problems with predetermined solutions. Our services are built around our clients’ situation, not “stock products.”
- Structured, flexible process. We understand the need for a structured process as well as the need for flexibility to insure any process conforms to the dynamics of the community and the clients’ organization.
- Frontline experience. As economic development professionals, we ran local and regional EDOs. We sat where you are sitting. We know accountability. We know Board expectations.
Vision & Strategy
Vision, the ability to see a future that does not yet exist, shapes economic development.
Most economic development visioning centers on traditional economic development. Traditional economic development is transactional in nature. The focus is on increasing the size of the pie and preparing the community, infrastructure, real estate, and workforce to support the desired growth.
In contrast, an aspirational economic development vision focuses on a change in status. For example, a tier 3 or tier 4 community can aspire to move up to a tier 2 or tier 3 community. An aspirational vision requires a community to come together around the vision and invest as if it had already achieved the desired status.
Visioning is the process of forging alignment within a group of how the future will be described. The vision hinges on two basic questions:
What community do we want? What community will businesses and individuals want to live in?
Once a vision is defined and internalized by leadership, strategy provides the roadmap required to navigate through known and unknown obstacles from the present to the desired future destination. The vision provides the essential outcomes critical to successful economic development. Strategic focus on these outcomes drives the actions of public and private sector leaders toward the vision created and owned by these same leaders. Success in economic development is first and foremost an agreement on the direction of the community by its leaders. The most successful communities are those that have leadership alignment. All efforts, including citizen engagement, flow from this foundation.
Our team of experts has been strategically chosen to assist in the development vision and strategy for economic development organizations for three reasons:
- Practitioners First, Consultants Second
- Industry Leadership
- Approaches Aligned with Today’s Business Models
The best marketing strategy and perfect execution has little chance of success…without a solid understanding of the physics of marketing.
Marketing is a dynamic process. The Physics of economic development marketing follow distinct stages with definable boundaries. As boundaries are crossed, marketing changes. Tactics change – form and function – as you move through the process. In the opening-game the focus is on visibility. The potential audience is broadly defined. The message is general. The only purpose of the opening game: cause someone in the target audience to raise their hand and express an interest in the product. Bang! Now, everything changes.
Success is not how much you spend, it is how you spend the money you have. Our proven planning process brings leadership through a shared experience to reach a custom outcome designed for the community’s circumstances. Equally importantly, Blane, Canada is not an advertising, web design, or PR firm. We do not have a vested interest in tactical choices beyond their ability to achieve the economic development objectives of the client. The marketing plan is not a “loss leader” given away to justify a service. Blane, Canada does not solve challenges with predetermined solutions. Our services are built around our clients’ needs, not our “stock products”.
To teach is to truly understand a topic.
“Physics” is based on years of experience on the frontline of economic development, our work as a top management advisor to economic development organizations, and research. Our book, Marketing for Results! And subsequent workshops introduced economic developers to the principles of B2B marketing well before the term became fashionable. Blane, Canada Ltd.’s publication and training are known for the quality of the content as well as an engaging style. Over 15,600 economic development professional and community leaders have participated in one or more of our courses, workshops, webinars, or seminars.
Enlightened economic development professionals view business retention and expansion (BR|E) as their Competitive Intelligence operation.
Business Retention | Executive Interviews
Enlightened economic development professionals view business retention and expansion (BR|E) as their Competitive Intelligence operation. In this view, the information gathered through executive interviews fuels decisions and resource allocation across the organization and throughout the community. In addition, the collective mix of companies in a community is the community’s portfolio. A portfolio is more than the simple collection of company information. The Portfolio Model, adopted from the world of financial asset management, understands that:
- Each company is an economic asset.
- Each asset has a relative value that can be compared to the value of other assets.
- Each asset has a relative risk that it will or will not perform as expected.
- Value for each asset in an individual portfolio investment class (primary sector) can be compared to any other asset within that class regardless of industry.
Combining business intelligence and the portfolio models creates a structure for informed business retention strategy. Only then, is the true potential of BR|E unlocked. And, identifying companies with plans to expand, community problems, and establishing relationships are by-products of a broader strategy.
By applying a 3rd business model, Lean Process Mapping, Blane, Canada helps clients evaluate and re-tool their BR|E executive interview program. The average executive interview program has 18 design gaps. Gaps can be a skipped step or an alternative method unseen by the program designer. Most gap presents multiple opportunities for dramatic improvements. Filling these gaps can increase effectiveness, improve results, and boost impact.
The classic Economic Development view of BR|E likens to a telescope – allowing only a one-dimensional view of BR|E. But, by combining effective business models with economic development, Blane, Canada generates the 3d effect of binoculars. This view creates the potential to accelerate return on investment (ROI).
Our BR|E advisory services are not limited to Synchronist users. Taking what we have learned from business and economic development, we can help any economic development organization jump BR|E to the next level.
Step up now. Let Blane, Canada show you how you can get more for your BR|E investment.
Business Retention vs. Existing Business Strategy
An Existing Industry Strategy is the umbrella covering BR|E and other economic development programs designed to support local employers. It is a fallacy to think that company decisions to stay or go hinge only on awareness tapped through an executive interview. The executive interview is just one element of a comprehensive Existing Industry Strategy. With a strategy, the components work together to tie companies to the community and the organization. Talent/Workforce (hyperlink to other section(s)?) is all the rage now. Organizations are adjusting staffing and budgets to address this important problem… to help secure existing employment. But, to effectively retain these jobs, BR|E, talent/workforce, and other programs must be joined at the hip to work seamlessly for the benefit of companies.
A holistic view of business retention within the context of an existing business strategy greatly enhances the “stickiness” of the economic development organization and the community while maximizing the return on investment.
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Blane, Canada’s 13 Tips delivers the storyline, the insight, the ah ha and the source link to go deep if desired. A six minute read draws widely from the environment influencing successful economic development and leadership in a changing world to keep you ahead of the game.